Assisted Living & Senior Living in U.S.

Connecticut Senior Living

Connecticut is a beautiful state in America, but it is also one of the most expensive. If you are a senior who has acquired a considerable amount of assets, then Connecticut may be a good place for you to live in and retire; however, due to the state’s high cost of living and high cost of health care, Connecticut may be a state that you would only want to live in if you a had considerable amount of money. That being said, the state of Connecticut appears to be working very hard to take care of senior citizens and residents who are low-income and require care. Is Connecticut a prime destination for a retiree?

Connecticut Assisted Living

Services for a senior living in Connecticut

Connecticut Senior LivingMost of the services available for seniors in Connecticut are handled by either the Connecticut Area Agency on Aging or the Ombudsman. If you need a service that currently isn't listed, then Connecticut's Area Agency on Aging or Connecticut Ombudsman are the agencies and people who can point you in the correct direction to help Connecticut seniors with whatever their question or problem is.

Connecticut’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) helps seniors and older residents of Connecticut. The principal goal of the AAA is to plan and provide senior services that will address the needs of the aged and people with disabilities who are living in Connecticut. The 5 AAAs fund the following services in the state of Connecticut: Social Services, Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Services, Family Caregiver Support Services, Nutritional Services and Adult Day Care Aide Positions. Additionally, the AAA may provide direct services when it comes to community education, advocacy, case management, information and assistance, and benefits counseling and training.

Connecticut also has Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The mission of the Ombudsman Program is to ensure that Connecticut seniors' rights are being respected and met.

Some of the services that are available for senior citizens in Connecticut include (depending on eligibility):

  • HUSKY C – (including Long-Term Services & Supports, and Medicaid for Employees with Disabilities) – for residents of Connecticut who are 65+ or who are between 18-65th birthday and are blind or who have another disability. The income and asset eligibility for seniors is different depending on which part of HUSKY C you are eligible for and where you live in Connecticut.
    • Southwestern Connecticut – has a monthly income limit of $633.49 for a single person and $805.09 for a married couple; and
    • Northern, Eastern and Western Connecticut – a monthly income limit of $523.38 per individual and a $696.41 limit for a married couple;
    • For those who are institutionalized, single persons may have a monthly income of $2,199;
    • Asset Limits are $1,600 for a single person and $2,400 for a married couple.
  • Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program – the goal of this program is to help seniors and others leave institutional settings and move back into the residential community;
  • CT Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) – this program is for Connecticut seniors who are 65 and older and who currently receive or would require services that are normally found in institutional setting, to remain in their home. The eligibility requirements for this program are:
    • Connecticut seniors must be 65 or older;
    • Senior's income and assets must not exceed the set limits; and
    • Senior must meet all other home and community-based Medicaid requirements.

The CHCPE program requires those seniors who are on the program due to state funding to pay a co-pay of 9%, and failure to pay this copay will end your eligibility to participate in the program.

However, what is very unusual about this program is that if a senior has an income that is over the limits that are set by Medicaid, then they may still be eligible but they will be required to pay a portion of the monthly amount owed.

  • WISE Program (Working for Integration, Support, and Empowerment) – helps those people who are age 22 and older with mental illnesses avoid placement in a nursing facility and helps those who are institutionalized transfer back to the community.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Age 22 or over;
  • Meets Medicaid eligibility requirements;
  • Meets Medicaid State Plan Criteria for level or care that is typically found in a nursing facility;
  • Has voluntarily chosen to participate in the waiver program; and
  • Has a diagnosis of severe mental illness.

Costs of Assisted Living in Connecticut

It costs about $5,000 per month (almost $60,000 a year) for care in an Assisted Living Facility in Connecticut, although the costs are higher in some cities and special care facilities. Although considerably higher than the national average of $3,293 per month, Connecticut is also a state with a higher cost of living than the national average.

Connecticut Assisted Living Facilities are still noticeably cheaper than nursing homes, where semi-private rooms cost $160,6000 and a private room is almost $148,500 per year.

Assisted Living in Connecticut is more expensive than Adult Day Health Care, which averages around $21,000 per year and Connecticut Assisted Living Facilities are cheaper than hiring a Home Health Aide which costs, on average, $50,000 a year. By the year 2030, Assisted Living in Connecticut will cost almost $90,000 per year – an increase of around $30,000.
Here is a breakdown of assisted living costs in major Connecticut cities:

  • Norwich, CT - $4,200 per month. Norwich is by far the cheapest when it comes to assisted living and its average monthly cost is $800 less than the state's average.
  • New Haven, CT - $5,100 per month
  • Hartford, CT - $5,192 per month
  • Bridgeport, CT - $5,220 per month

Helpful Programs to Pay for Assisted Living in Connecticut

In Connecticut, there are Medicaid waiver programs that are offered to try and keep seniors from going into a nursing facility. These waiver programs also require that you meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid in Connecticut. In Connecticut, the Medicaid program can be completed online at ConneCT or by contacting the AAA and asking for the CHOICES program.

To be eligible for these waivers, seniors living in Connecticut must meet the following financial requirements for Medicaid:

  • Must have an income of less than $2,199/month for a single person (this is based on the gross limit of 300% of the base Supplemental Security Income – SSI – rate.) No adjustment is allowed. If your gross income is higher than this amount, which changes yearly, then you are not eligible for a Medicaid Waiver;
  • Asset limits – there are two different limits depending on the age and disability status of the person applying:
    • If you are a Connecticut senior over 65, disabled and between 18-64, or blind, then the asset limit is $1,600; but
    • If the person is under 18, the asset limit is $1,000.
  • If you are the spouse of a person who has been approved for a Medicaid waiver program, you automatically become what is called a Medicare Catastrophic Care Act (MCCA) Community Spouse. During the initial assessment for eligibility, any assets that are held either individually or jointly are available; however, once the eligibility has been met for the spouse with the waiver that stops. Recently, the minimum amount that was protected for the “community spouse” was $23,844 and the maximum was $119,220.

Some waivers are offered by the Connecticut Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) and they include:

  • Comprehensive Waiver – For those Connecticut residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities with severe physical, behavioral, or medical needs. It includes services such as: assisted living, community living arrangements and community companion homes, adult day health care, , live-in caregivers, group day supports, respite care, adult companion, environment modifications, health care coordination, personal supports, and senior supports.

Pros and Cons of Senior Living in Connecticut

Connecticut is a very expensive state – to live in and to retire. However, the state is working on financial reform, especially for seniors who want to live in Connecticut. They are currently researching a plan to provide a pension for all seniors.

Here are some things to consider for seniors when choosing where to retire in Connecticut:

  • High Cost of Living – Connecticut has a very high cost of living, particularly if you are moving from a state that did not have a corresponding high income level;
  • Taxes – Connecticut has a high tax rate – income, sales, and property tax. There is also an Estate tax on Inheritances;
  • Weather - Most of Connecticut has a humid continental climate, marked by cold winters and warm and humid summers. These climates can have wide ranging temperature differences between the summer and winter months. Far southern Connecticut and the coastal parts have a milder humid temperate climate. This area is affected by its closeness to the Atlantic Ocean and it usually has warmer winters and a longer frost-free season. The precipitation in Connecticut is fairly evenly spread throughout the year and it averages 2,400 hours of sunshine per year. This is higher than the average days of sunshine in most of the United States. Although it is sunny, thunderstorms, particularly during the summer months, can be severe and troublesome for seniors. The state usually sees about one tornado per year and, during hurricane season, Tropical storms can affect the area. The fall months are mild are this is one of the areas in the country that is known for the beautiful fall colors on the tress, particularly in the northern parts of the state. If you are a senior who enjoys spending your fall outdoors, Connecticut may be a great choice for living your retirement years. The winters in Connecticut are only moderately cold, with average January temperatures ranging from 38° F near the coast, to 29° F in the northern part of the state. The average snowfall is between 50-60 inches in the higher elevation in the north to only 20-25 along the southeast coast. Usually anywhere north or west of Interstate 84 gets the most snow, and most of Connecticut has fewer than 60 days of snow cover per year.
  • Location – due to its proximity to New York City and the state’s location in the Northeast, there should be plenty of things for seniors do in Connecticut, and traveling to states that are close-by is relatively easy with public transportation (trains especially); and
  • Wide-Spread services for Seniors – unlike most states, Connecticut allows a senior who doesn’t qualify for Medicaid to pay a portion of the amount due.

Connecticut Demographics

According to the Census, Connecticut is the 29th most populated state in America, the fourth most densely populated, yet it is the third smallest state. It has a total area of only 5,543 square miles and a population of around 3.6 million people. Immigration from outside the United States has resulted in an increase of around 75,000 people. Seniors account for 15.8% of the total Connecticut population (around 550,000 seniors in total) - an increase of 1.6% from the previous census. There are also almost 1.5 million housing units in total in Connecticut.

The county of Fairfield is the most southwestern and the most populated in Connecticut and it contains the four of the largest of the state’s cities, Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, and Danbury. According to the latest U.S. Census, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area has close to 950,000 people with a population density of 1,467.2 people per square mile. It is the 57th most populous MSA (metropolitan statistical area) of the U.S and the most populated county in the country.

The top three religious majorities are: Mainline Protestant (28%); Evangelical Protestant (13%); and Baptist (5%.) 23% of the population self-identify as non-religious. English is the primary language in Connecticut followed by Spanish, Italian, French, and Polish.

The racial composition of Connecticut is approximately: 78% White (including White Hispanics); 10% Black; 4% Asian; and 0.5% American Indian or Alaska Native. Connecticut has large populations of Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, and English-Americans and the state is known for its considerable Hungarian-American population. Recently, 46% of the population younger than one were minorities.

Connecticut imposes a state income tax that ranges from 3% to 6.7% on your taxable income. There is also a state sales tax of 6.35% which is higher than most states, although there are no local sales taxes in Connecticut (which can be a big help to seniors), so 6.35% is the maximum sales tax that can be charged. Due to the ban on counties and cities adding on to the sales tax, this actually makes the state rank in the bottom 20 of all the states in terms of sales tax. However, due to the ban on cities and counties adding on to the sales tax, Connecticut has a high property tax rate to make up for it – the second highest in the nation.

There is a tax on estates in Connecticut, but with some high qualifications. The exemption amount is $2 million. If you have over $600,000 above that amount you are taxed at 7.2%, 8.4% for the next $500,000 (up to $4.1 million), and then an additional 0.6% for every $1 million of value of the estate. The top rate is 12% for an estate exceeding $10.1 million.

There is also a state gasoline tax of $0.43.22 cents/gallon. The gas tax is the 5th highest gas tax in the U.S. and the tax on diesel fuel is $0.54.5 cents/gallon, the second highest in the country.

Capital gains are taxed as regular income in Connecticut, 6.7%.

Additionally, the purchasing power in Connecticut is lower than the average in the nation. For example, what would cost you $91.91 in Connecticut is what you would expect to spend $100 on in another state. The cost of living is higher in Connecticut than it is in other states in every category: grocery, health, housing, utilities, and transportation.

Some Places to Consider for Connecticut Senior living:

  • Heritage Village, Connecticut – in the town of Southbury in New Haven County, Connecticut. It is also the location of Heritage Village, the finest 55+ active adult community in Southbury, Connecticut with amenities such as: an 18-hole golf course, a fitness center, four private pools, the Ethan Allen Library, The Winship Barn, The River Gardens, The Stable Studios, The Meeting House, The Activities Building, The Fireside Lounge, and The Lodge.
  • Saybrook Manor, Connecticut – a community in Old Saybrook in Middlesex County, Connecticut. With a population of less than 1,200 as of the latest Census and a population density of 1,497.7 people per square mile, Saybrook Manor is an affluent community with 3.7% of families and 7.4% of the population living below the poverty line;
  • Old Saybrook Town, Connecticut – located in Middlesex County, this area is full of cultural and historic attractions for seniors to visit and enjoy. Some years ago, the “Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and Theater” was completed and opened. Other places that are on the National Register of Historic Places include: Black Horse Tavern, Elisha Bushnell House, Jedidiah Dudley House, James Pharmacy, Lynde Point Lighthouse, Old Saybrook South Green and Parker House to name a few.
  • Prospect Town, Connecticut – in the county of New Haven, Connecticut, Prospect Town has a population of less than 10,000 and the town’s motto is “The Best Small Town in Connecticut.”

SeniorGuidance.org provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

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